Peter Schakel of English Faculty
Writes Book on C.S. Lewis
Posted June 19, 2002
HOLLAND -- Dr. Peter J. Schakel of the Hope
College English faculty is author of "Imagination and the
Arts in C.S. Lewis: Journeying to Narnia and Other Worlds,"
published recently by the University of Missouri Press.
The book has two central purposes: to present
Lewis as a cultivated person of wide-ranging interests, and
to show how an appreciation of Lewis's interests in the
arts, non-literary as well as literary, deepens a reader's
response to his fiction, especially the Chronicles of
Narnia. According to Schakel, the book reaffirms the long-
established tradition that books should be read with one's
whole personality, not just with the intellect.
The book is the first study to provide a thorough
analysis of Lewis's theory of imagination--the making of
connections through association, intuition or inspiration--
which is central to his life, his creative and critical
works, his writings on Christianity, and his ideas on
education. It examines the role of imagination in the
experience of reading Lewis's fiction, especially the
Chronicles of Narnia, and explores Lewis's ideas about
imagination in the nonliterary arts, considering the place
of music, dance, art and architecture in Lewis's own life
and in his poems and stories. It also considers the
importance of "moral imagination" in Lewis's discussions of
literature, and in the stories and poems he created.
Work on the book was supported by the 2002 Clyde
S. Kilby Research Grant from the Marion E. Wade Center at
Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill.
This is Schakel's fifth book on Lewis. He is
author of two earlier books, "Reading with the Heart: The
Way into Narnia" and "Reason and Imagination in C.S. Lewis,"
editor of "The Longing for a Form: Essays on the Fiction of
C.S. Lewis," and co-editor with Dr. Charles A. Huttar of
"Word and Story in C.S. Lewis."
Schakel is the Peter C. and Emajean Cook Professor
of English and chair of the department of English at Hope.
He joined the Hope faculty in 1969 after a year at the
University of Nebraska. He is a graduate of Central College
in Iowa and holds graduate degrees from Southern Illinois
University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Copies of "Imagination and the Arts in C.S. Lewis:
Journeying to Narnia and Other Worlds" are available at the
college's Hope-Geneva Bookstore, located on the ground level
of the DeWitt Center on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street. The
hardcover volume costs $32.50.